Kearsarge High School Students Explore Medical Careers with Help from D-H
Kearsarge High School students explored whether a career in health care is in their future as part of a recent pilot project with Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
The 13 students wrapped up a year-long Foundations of Health Science class during Experiential Day on May 11, when they demonstrated the skills they have learned and talked about next steps.
Real life application of 21st century skills – dubbed “Curiosity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity” – is a key part of the Experiential Days. The class is the first of its kind in New Hampshire, and has an underlying objective of opening opportunities for youth to continue to live and thrive in the state.
Melinda Wilder, Extended Learning Opportunity coordinator at Kearsarge High School, says the partnership and program were developed to create awareness and excitement around career opportunities in health care, introduce students to a professional working environment and offer students a jumpstart on a career pathway directly upon graduation.
Winfried Feneberg, superintendent of Schools at Kearsarge, says he and the board are excited about the pilot program and will consider adding it to the curriculum in coming years.
All of the classroom work takes place at the high school. Students also spend 10 days at Dartmouth-Hitchcock participating in professional training through simulated clinical practice and special lectures, exploring various health-care career opportunities within a large organization and learning basic lifesaving techniques, according to Amanda Fay, RN, a Foundations in Health Science instructor and a D-H nurse educator.
“In the pilot program we open students’ eyes to the potential opportunities within health care,” Fay says. “We are also coaching them on options available through our apprenticeship programs and school to work positions. It’s not just about being a nurse or a doctor. Those are important roles yet they are only a segment of the team. In our class, we say that health care is not a solo sport. It’s the team that delivers care.
“We’re building a pipeline of students who are ready to start a career in our regional health care systems,” Fay adds.
“We’re offering high school graduates an opportunity to get started on the right foot with full-time employment, benefits and prospects for career development,” says Sarah Currier, director of Workforce Development at D-H.